A San Francisco physician who devised a system of diagnosis
and healing variously termed radionics, electronic medicine,
or electronics. Abrams, who had a distinguished medical background,
graduated in medicine at Heidelberg University, Germany,
and was professor of pathology at Cooper Medical College,
San Francisco, California. Working on cancer patients, he
believed that he had discovered that diseased tissue radiated an
abnormal wave. His work further led to his invention of the oscilloclast,
an electrical instrument for generating oscillations
involving changes of skin potential, based on an electronic theory
of disease. Developments of Abrams’s apparatus have since
come to be known as black boxes. In 1922, just two years before
his death, the British Royal Society of Medicine issued a negative
report on Abrams, and his work almost died out. It was
picked up by Ruth Drown during the 1930s. His work was carried
on by the American Association for Medico-Physical Research.
Abrams, Albert. New Concepts in Diagnosis and Treatment. San
Francisco, Calif.: Physico-Clinical, 1922.
Barr, James. Abrams’ Methods of Diagnosis and Treatment. London,
Scott, G. Laughton. ‘‘The Abrams Treatment’’ in Practice: An Investigation.
London: Bless, 1925.
Stanway, Andrew. Alternative Medicine. New York: Penguin,

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